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Album Review: Irrational Anthems by Audible Joes

Irish punks Audible Joes release their sophomore album, Irrational Anthems, o 14th July. The band has developed a reputation in the Cork, Ireland music scene for their energetic and interactive performances. They’ve been direct support for many larger acts such as The Damned, Old Firm Casuals, Runnin’ Riot, Blood or Whiskey and Vic Godard (Subway Sect). After releasing their debut album Medicine For Modern Living in 2015, the band returned to their practice space and honed in on the sound for Irrational Anthems.

A riotous and gritty run through of pure punk is the order of the day here. There’s nothing fancy, nothing pretentious, just unbridled punk. There’s the feel of dirty unpolished punk emanating from every juncture, with it its flaws are also its strengths.

The main flaw of Irrational Anthems is the production. It sounds like its recorded in a bedroom. While the album could have benefited from drum engineering and better mixing the rawness makes it that little more punk and adds a visceral energy. Perhaps better production would have led to some better direction, ‘Until I Die’ is a nice acoustic punk track but nothing more than you’d expect from a 14 year olds bedroom project. ‘Snakes’ proceeds it with 4 minutes of overblown and directionless middling punk, 2 minutes less and a little refinement would be perfect.

Those blips don’t take the shine off what is otherwise an endearing and enjoyable album. ‘Born Again Cynic’ and ‘I Wanna Be Affected’ are excellent tracks that get the blood bubbling before lead single ‘Speaker Submission’ shows Audible Joes at their strongest. It’s a track inspired by a particularly scary case of sleep paralysis frontman Michael Stone experienced. “The episode involved being strapped into a chair with a loud set of speakers pumping an endless wave of white noise at me,” says Stone. “After regaining control from the episode, I realized that I can’t take what I do for granted. The white noise was deafening and it threatened everything that I love in life and work towards. Sound is all I have. The song itself is inspired by taking solace and comfort in the music that drives and you and keeps you moving forward.”

‘Consumerism’ is another highpoint from a band you feel punk integrity is at the forefront. Whether it be the production, defiant and aggressive lyrics or the artwork, it has punk DIY all over it. There’s something genuinely exciting about Audible Joes, just persevere with Irrational Anthems.

AD Rating 6/10

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